Published by Orchard Books on April 4, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
My content rating: YA (Nothing more than kissing; Some violence, including abuse)
Can two broken boys find their perfect home?
Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he's ever known. Now Sam's trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he's caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing - each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.
But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.
This book is pure perfection, crafted with Cait’s special brand of lyrical writing, witty banter and heartwrenching circumstances.
Sam’s reality is painful–he’s trying to care for an older brother since all of the adults in his life have failed him. All he wants in life is a home, a place to belong, but for him, that feels like a distant dream. Plus, he’s living with the repercussions of a cycle of abuse passed down from his father (not to mention the neglect and emotional abuse inflicted by his aunt), and he fears that he might not be able ever truly break that cycle. Sam is a kid who has to make very adult choices, and he often fails to hold the threads of his life together.
I fell in love with the DeLaineys right along with Sam. They’re everything he yearns for: a strong, vibrant family, full of love and warmth. They have their fair share of issues–but they work through their problems together. The world doesn’t always revolve in their favor, but they never give up and the family never breaks down. It’s everything Sam dreams of, so it’s easy to see why he can’t quite extricate himself from them, even when he thinks he should.
Since this is an #OwnVoices story about autism, it’s no surprise that the book tackles this incredibly difficult topic well. What I love is that the book manages to present Avery, Sam’s autistic brother, with dignity while still acknowledging the struggles that his autism creates for him and those around him. Sam’s pain isn’t watered down–he has had an incredibly difficult time as a young teenager who often has to take care of his older brother. And he occasionally even resents Avery. At the same time, the love between these two is palpable, and Sam is fiercely protective of his brother. He believes at his core that there’s nothing wrong with Avery and he will remind anyone and everyone of that fact emphatically (sometimes a bit too emphatically–with his fists). The relationship is complicated–and isn’t that true to life for so many sibling relationships?
I could probably go on and on, but you should just read this book for yourself and find out what all the fuss is about. Prepare for tears and laughter and everything in between–but mostly, prepare to fall in love with one small, broken boy who just wants to find a place to call home.
While you’re here, check out my review of A Thousand Perfect Notes!
About The Author
C.G. Drews lives in Australia with her dog, a piano, and the goal of reading every book in existence. Consequently, her brain has overflowed with words and she spends her days writing novel after novel. She blogs at Paper Fury, never sleeps and believes in cake for breakfast.
I purchased this book for myself (this wasn’t a review copy), but I decided to participate in the blitz so that my readers could have a chance to win a copy for themselves. This giveaway is for a signed and annotated copy!! And an official art print too!